Park City textile artist creates spooky decor for the Halloween season
Artique will showcase Hunter’s work Friday
Mary Ellen Hunter is ready for Halloween.
The Park City-based textile artist has crocheted more than 30 spooky doilies, hats and scarves for her First Friday Artist Opening that will run from 6-9 p.m. on Friday at Artique, 283 N. Main St. in Kamas.
Although Hunter has been crocheting for 60 years, she started adding eerie elements into her creations back in 2018.
“I just discovered the patterns someplace and decided that would be something fun to do, because people like things with themes,” she said.
Hunter also wanted to spice up her doilies, items that some people think may be antiquated.
“Well, they are old-fashioned, and while there are those who like them, others turn their noses up at them,” she said with a laugh. “But when you look at the doilies I make, people will see something more if they look closely. They may see skulls in the patterns, or they will see black cats or ghosts.”
Keeping in line with the autumn flair, Hunter used black, gold and white yarn to create her doilies.
“Of course I wanted to incorporate Halloween colors,” she said. “Halloween is one of the biggest holidays of the year in Utah. So it’s fun to do things that lean towards that.”
Hunter started working on this year’s batch a couple of months ago.
“I use patterns from a particular designer, Ann Wanamaker, and every year she comes up with different ones, so I buy them,” she said. “When I finish them, I’ll post them on Facebook, where I do have a following.”
Hunter’s grandmothers introduced her to crocheting and textile art.
“They both were very crafty, but my mother was not,” she said. “My father, on the other hand, crocheted and he made blankets for all of his grandkids. So it was sort of a family tradition.”
Hunter was also drawn to crocheting because it is a portable hobby.
“I can crochet anytime I want and do it really anywhere,” she said. “I also weave as well, and unlike crocheting, you have to have a loom and a room. So when you do it, you’re stuck in that space. That’s not the case with crocheting.”
Another reason why Hunter crochets today is to “modernize” yarn art.
“I want to bring the craft into the 21st century and make it more interesting for younger people to get into,” she said.
In addition to learning how to crochet, Hunter taught herself how to knit and tat, and she earned a degree in textile design, with an emphasis in weaving, from the University of Vermont.
“So a lot of that carries on nicely with what I do now,” she said.
Hunter knows the importance of improving her craft for herself and her followers.
“We have people who come back every year who are looking for something different, and I have to make sure I keep up with what they want,” she said. “Also, there aren’t a lot of Halloween crochet patterns out there. So I have to keep looking around for new things to do.”
Hunter began showing her crocheting at Artique five years ago, two years before she began making Halloween doilies.
“(Owner) Katie Stellpflug has provided 20 local artists a place to show their work, which is great, because none of us have enough work to open our own shops,” Hunter said. “Knowing there is a place like Artique to show what we have is amazing. We not only take turns running the shop, we also meet some great people.”
When: 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1
Where: Artique, 283 N. Main St. in Kamas
Web: facebook.com/artiqueartandgifts/events/and facebook.com/maryellen.hunter.18
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City Hall and the Arts Council of Park City and Summit County presents Pumpkin Fest at Bonanza Art Park next week.